Staying Fit: Balance Your Home Based Business

Millions of people long to work from home, and the lucky few manage to achieve their ambition.  Once you have realized the dream, it’s important to maintain the work-life balance or you could find your effectiveness declines.  Working at home still has its own pitfalls: you’ve left the day job and you’re no longer shackled to the desk by your evil boss.  But your new boss can be even more tyrannical – it’s you!!

The urge to make your business succeed is powerful.  All entrepreneurs feel that sense of urgency, and the need for perfection.   By making that change to the next e-mail or tweaking the website, it’s going to make all the difference to the success of the business.  We all have to remember that the most important business asset we hold is ourselves, and we should prize it accordingly.  It is a truism that we only get one body, so we should take care.  Treat yourself like a thoroughbred, with the right diet, rest and exercise.

Chances are that your work-space wasn’t designed for the job.  If you don’t use an office chair you are likely to be hunched over your screen, risking upper back tension and repetitive strain injury.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting a complete ergonomic assessment: I left my job to get away from the box-tickers!  It is possible to work in less-than-ideal conditions and survive, as long as we take some sensible steps and regular breaks. 

The other risk of internet working is a decline in your fitness, if you’re not very careful.  It’s easy to feel that time spent working out is time stolen from your business – try to change your mindset and see that this is a key part of your requirements.  You need to maintain your fitness routine for the sake of mind and body.  The work at home entrepreneur often spends hours each day without talking to another human being face to face.

To deal with your posture and fitness needs, try to ensure you get out of the chair at least once an hour, and do a few stretches and shrugs to release tension in your neck and shoulders.  Stand with feet slightly apart and let you body relax downwards to touch your toes with the fingertips (or as far down as you can reach).  If you repeat this one regularly it’s encouraging to see how much your flexibility can improve in a short time.

It is a really good idea to leave your office once every three hours.  You can set an alarm to remind you, then go outside and walk for at least ten minutes.  If you have been hitting some blocks during the working day this is an ideal time for problem-solving: the fresh air will do wonders and help you think clearly.

Once a day, do some type of fitness work.  If you can get to a gym for a full workout, that’s great and you will feel great afterwards.  If not, make sure you do something.  Here are a few exercises you can do anywhere:

- Stand up and place your hands on your knees and breathe out, pulling the abdominal muscles in strongly.  Hold for at least ten seconds, and breathe in.  Repeat ten times, build up gradually to at least 20 repetitions by the end of a fortnight.

- Stand up and raise elbows level with your shoulders, and twist slowly as far as possible to your right.  Repeat the exercise to the left, do at least ten repetitions in each direction.

- Stand up facing away from a solid table or chair, place palms on the surface with fingers pointing forwards.  Lower your body, keeping back straight and a slight tension in your abdominals. Come back up using the strength in your arms.  Repeat at least ten times.

These are just a few ideas designed to take less than five minutes, and you will feel better for doing them.  It’s also important to manage your time and allocate leisure breaks as well as time for socialising with friends and family.  If you are in the first year of setting up your business try to spend at least 30 minutes a day on something different – it is too easy to become blinkered, thinking and talking exclusively about the business.  Try to make this a habit, or you run the risk of bore everyone around you rigid!

One last idea, which may not be available to everyone, is to get a dog.  This is a great way to get away from the desk and keep active, and immensely rewarding.  If you can't have a dog of your own, see if anyone nearby needs a dog walker.  Now there's a home business idea .......


Affiliate Marketing: A Mentor Can Make You a Smashing Success

Thinking about a home business? Suddenly you're immersed in a whole new language: affiliate programs, residual income, leveraged income, pyramid scams, html, gateway websites. It's really not all that difficult and a mentor can be a trusted guide through the home business labyrinth.

There are only three main ways to work for yourself: sell your own product or service and keep all the profits; buy the rights to sell someone else's product and keep all the profits; and sell someone else's products and keep a commission. This article is all about the third way, which is affiliate marketing.

Residual income is income that keeps coming in month after month, year after year, from work you do just one time. You sell a membership or a customer places a standing order for monthly shipment of a product and you receive a commission every month thereafter. Leveraged income is earning money through other people's efforts. We choose to be affiliates because when we sign someone up under us to sell, we profit from their sales too.

There are many reasons why you may be interested in starting your own affiliate home business. Are you having difficulty finding a job? Are you afraid of being laid off? Are you worried about your retirement savings? Do you want to stay home to care for a loved one? Do you wish you could say goodbye to your boss forever?

Whatever the reason, and whatever your financial situation, a mentor can help you build an online income over time. It won't happen overnight and it will take hard work.

How do you know if being your own boss and working on the internet is for you? How do you choose what kind of business to start?

A mentor can help you decide if an internet home business is for you. If you're new to computers and the internet, he or she can suggest some great resources for learning the basics.

How do you choose what affiliate programs to join? A good mentor only recommends products she uses herself and programs she uses. I made my choices based on products in which I have personal interest, the programs' track records, and recommendations from entrepreneurs I respect. Careful research is the key.

Once you have signed up for affiliate programs, you may want to start out simply promoting the affiliate gateway websites you are given within each program. Gateway websites are personalized websites given to you by an affiliate program. They are the same for every affiliate and you are not able to change them in any way. They include code that attributes all sales to you and they allow for your contact information to be included. A mentor will show you how to promote these websites. Directing visitors to them is how you make your sales and how you enroll others.

Eventually, you will want your own domain name and website. I unequivocally recommend Kiosk.ws as a web host. You can start out for as little as $5, and Kiosk has support that sets the industry standard. There are conference room trainings and meet-the-president sessions, online help desk, and of course your referrer. Your membership includes too many business tools to mention here, but it's everything you need to conduct business online. Plus Kiosk can eventually be a good moneymaker in itself.

Once you are the proud owner of your own website, you can add your own product pages, articles, testimonials...you're only limited by your imagination. A mentor can set you in the right direction and get your business profitable sooner than you might believe.


38 Top Questions to ask Franchisors

Buying a Franchise is a huge step, just like buying any business.

The best part about a franchise, though, is that you should expect a great track record and the answers to any and all questions you have, because the franchisor should have been there and done it all before!

This article will give you plenty of questions to ask.

NB: You may have to sign Non-Disclosure documents and actually apply for a Franchise before you can get answers to some (but certainly not all) of these questions.   If you find a franchisor is reluctant to answer these questions, that should tell you something, shouldn't it?

1. Is the Franchisor a Member of the Franchise Council of Australia?

2. Does the Franchise comply fully with FCA Code of Conduct and Member Standards in all regards?

These two requirements are compulsory for membership of the FCA, so you can be assured that if they are an FCA Member, they have already been vetted for compliance with these.

NB: Membership is optional - if Franchisors are members, it may provide a degree of credibility, however, many good Franchisors are not members of the FCA.

3. Was the Business successfully piloted (run as business) by the Franchisor?

4. How long has the Franchise been in operation?

5. How many franchises have been sold?

6. How many franchises are company owned?

7. How many Franchises are there in active operation?

8. How many franchisees have sold their franchise as an ongoing concern?

9. How many active franchisees consistently meet franchise revenue and profit projections?

10. How many legal suits have been lodged by franchisees against franchisor?

11. How many Franchisee council meetings have been held in last 12 months?

12. What marketing is generated by Franchisor?

13. What level of Training is provided?

14. What level of ongoing support is provided?

15. How is training and support provided?

16. What is the makeup of the head office team?

17. What are the Customer profiles?

18. Time and lifestyle outcomes (5 days a week, 7 days a week, etc.)?

19. Is employment of staff required?

20. What guarantees are offered if any, regarding:

a) Marketing 

b) Income support 

c) Business generation

d) Franchise buyback 

21. Can you speak with as many franchisees as you want, and will they give you some contact names and numbers?

22. When you have spoken to a Franchisee with less than 12 months in the franchise, get them to give a rating out of 5, where 5 is highest, 1 is lowest about:
 
a) Marketing support 
b) Level of ongoing Support 
c) Level and quality of Training 
d) Business generation as a result of franchisor marketing 
e) General satisfaction 

23. When you have spoken to a Franchisee with more than 12 months in the franchise, get them to give a rating out of 5, where 5 is highest, 1 is lowest about: 

a) Marketing support 
b) Level of ongoing Support 
c) Level and quality of Training 
d) Business generation as a result of franchisor marketing 
e) General satisfaction 

24. Will the Franchisor provide vendor finance or assist with finance (ask if you will require financial assistance)?

25. Is the market for the services or products likely to grow in the future?

26. What market share does the franchise have / how strong is the competition?

27. Is it easy for competitors to start up alternative franchises?
 
28. What market awareness (branding) does the franchise have in their marketplace?

29. Are they the leading player in the sector?

30. What is their competitive advantage?

31. Is their competitive advantage unique or can it be easily copied?

32. Are they first mover in their industry?

33. What innovations has the Franchisor made in the business model over the past 12 months to stay ahead of competition?

34. Will the business grow in value as business grows?

35. Will I be able to sell my business? 

36. Has there been franchisees who sold out for a profit?

37. Is there an exit strategy (sale, employee buyout, company buyback, etc) in the Franchise system for me to get out of the franchise?
 
38. How many days a week will I have to work?

Hopefully, these questions made you think a bit harder about the franchising opportunities available.  But if you just haven’t got the time to make contact and ask all those questions, simply go to the website to sort the sheep from the goats.


Before You Even Think About Hiring a Website Developer | Important Questions You Need To Ask?

Assuming you already have a fairly good idea of what you want on your web site and will more than likely be writing your own copy or having it written for you, here are 10 questions you need answered to help you create an effective web site without breaking the bank or delaying your plans.

1.  Price by project or by the hour?  Accepting an hourly rate agreement gives you little control over costs unless you put a spending cap into effect.  If you have to exercise the spending cap, what if your site is only partially complete?  Inevitably, you will have to dish out more dough to get it finished and this is a strain you want to avoid as you start your new business.

2.  Once the site is complete who will maintain it?  If the developer offers this service, what are the costs and turn-around time?  If you'd rather assume modification control, do they offer access to and training on editing software?

3.  What is the expected completion date for the site?  You want to be in a position to plan ahead for the launch.  Having this information will allow you to organize your marketing efforts and prioritize all other plans that tie in to "going live".

4.  What is the payment structure?  Do they want all of the money up front?  Half now, half upon completion?  Make sure you hold back partial payment until your site is complete and you are fully satisfied with the results.

5.  Will your designer submit your site to the search engines or will this be your responsibility?  If this is your responsibility, do your homework to ensure you cover all the steps. (Keywords and META tags must be done prior to submission.)

6.  Who will be responsible for search engine optimization? This is usually an add-on service, so find out if your developer includes it with site development, offers it at an additional cost, or if you will have to contract it out to a third party.

7.  Who will hold the master key to your site? Make sure you do! Don't leave this critical component of your business and marketing strategy in the control of a third party.  Get all passwords and access to all data.

8.  Will your developer teach you how to read your web logs/stats so you can understand the how, what, where and why of your visitors?

9.  Has the developer designed other sites for your niche market?

10.  Has the web designer provided a portfolio, testimonials or references from others in your niche market?  Have you verified the references?

A web site is a major component of your marketing strategy and business success. Do your due diligence in selecting a web developer and don't hesitate to ask as many questions as it takes to fully understand both your and your developer's role in the process.


Rules of Engagement: Before Choosing An Affiliate Program Or Work at Home Business?

So you've decided to become financially independent! You've chosen to work at home. Congratulations! I'm sure this is a decision that can turn your life around and lead you to financial freedom.

But that is going to happen only if you're careful enough to let it happen! There are a few things you should really look out for when deciding to work at home.

When you set out to give the work at home business thing a try, you'll find out that this was just the easy part! The hard part is to discover which one is right for you.

With all these so called "opportunities" that flood the internet, you should be very careful in choosing a work at home business. To help you, I have put together a few simple rules :


Rule #1 : Try to avoid "get rich quick deals" 

Now that's a golden rule! Usually, when something sounds too good to be true then it probably is!

Oh, I know these sound appealing and of course you would like to get paid for doing nothing (so would the rest of us!). But don't you think that if these people had the magic solution to making big money they would use it instead of trying to sell it to you for whatever price?

It's sad to know that so many people end up feeling frustrated when they realize that they have wasted their time and hard earned money. There are no magic tricks! Commitment and hard work instead, can make you rich.


Rule #2 : Find a program that you really like and can work with

Another rule that's essential! Say that you come across a program that requires you to sell life insurance. You hate insurance people, you think they're full of hype.

So what, the compensation plan looks great! What would you do? Would you join the program? Could you picture yourself selling life insurance even if you hate the very idea?
The answer is that you're never going to make any money doing something you don't like!

The point I am trying to make here is, that you should go on and find out everything there is to know about the program you are interested in. Just spend some time doing an essential reading through the available material (company website, related articles etc).

Try to get an overview of how the system works and if you need more information or if you get confused , go ahead and ask the person who referred you to the program for help. Doing your homework always pays off.


Rule #3 : Make sure you know exactly what you're getting for your money

 There are just too many companies out there that present you with sales letters as long as a book but not even a hint as to what you are actually getting in return!

If the product they're selling is that good and is going to make you so much money, why hide it? Why only mention it in the last few paragraphs?

Ok, I know, it's the way sales are closed. Still, you would like to know exactly what you're buying. It could save you a lot of grief!


Rule #4 : Perform a background check on the company

The longer it has been around, the better. This way you know that you're dealing with an established company that will not go bankrupt 4 months after you join!

It has been known for people to lose their online businesses and commissions owed to them for this very reason. Choosing a quality company is essential but can prove critical to the survival of your work at home business.


Rule #5 : Make sure you're going to get all the help that you need

It's just typical for someone to join a program, pay his membership fee or buy a product and then be left in the dark, not sure what on earth to do next!

Again, I'm repeating myself here but this is important, try to get an overview of how the system works, who your upline people are and how they can help you.

If you need more information or if  you get confused, go ahead and ask the person who referred you to the program for help. In this way not only will you get an idea of how the program is structured but you would also be testing your referrer to see if he/she will respond promptly to your need for help.
But first, you have to have an idea of how the program works.


Rule #6 : Check out the compensation plan

Ok, so you've joined a program which ,hopefully, is going to make you rich. Do you know how this is going to happen?

It's not necessary that you know every detail about the compensation plan from the first day that you join. But still, wouldn't you like to know if you're getting 5% or 60% commission on an average sale?
After all, it takes the same amount of effort to generate a sale. Wouldn't you like to be paid more?


 Rule #7 : Do not spend much at the beginning

A legitimate work at home business should be able to operate at a minimum/low cost. You should not have to invest a lot of money in any home business. At least not in the beginning.

When you do decide to invest some money into your own home business, this should be your own decision, not someone else's and must arise from your understanding that a business is what you make it.


There are more rules that I can add to these and make a really long list but this is not my goal. My goal is to provide a clear path, a few steps that should be easy to follow through the minefield of schemes and "get-rich-quick" deals to a company you can really trust.

Using your own common sense is as important as having these rules in mind when looking for an opportunity or a work at home business.

Your decision to join a program should be the result of considering facts and should not in any case come from mere curiosity. Keep in mind that there are very few true work at home opportunities out there and you have to find the one that's perfect for you!


Tips To Make Your Home-Based Business Not Appear "Homemade"

One of the toughest obstacles we face when working from home is making it appear that we're not, in fact, working from home. When clients call and there are kids screaming in the background, pets barking and meowing and timers going off for laundry and cooking, it doesn't appear professional. So, how can we appear more professional?

Tip # 1: Have a clean, professional website with your own domain name.

Do not, under any circumstances, have a "free" website hosted on another domain name with other company's ads all over the place! This is one of the biggest no-no's out there! Decide, instead, that in order to appear professional, you must invest in a professional website. If you aren't skilled in web design, hire someone to do it for you or barter with another home-based business owner who does do web design. Choose a domain name that is closely related to your business's name.

Tip # 2: Invest in a separate phone line or in a distinctive ring tone for that line.

Most phone companies offer a plan where you can have two or more numbers ringing to one phone line with distinctive rings. It's usually better to have a separate phone line in your office, in order to avoid after-hours phone calls from clients. This also enables you to "shut the door" on work when you're not there. Use a professional voicemail message or answering machine message and check the messages often.

Tip # 3: Think about how to display your business address.

How are you going to display your physical location? There are a few different options available. Most home-based business owners will say that they accept meetings by appointment only, to discourage clients from "dropping in" while they're still in their jammies and haven't had their morning coffee yet. If you don't want your customers to know you work from home, two other options are using a P.O. Box or attaching a "Suite" number to your address. If you use a P.O. Box, you will have to give your home address out for packages and anything they want to courier to you, but it does provide anonymity and discourages drop-in visitors. If you attach a suite number to your address in order to make it appear a "business office," make sure you mention to your postal carrier that you're running a home-based business and that's why there's a different address on there.

Tip # 4: Define your office etiquette rules to your family.

What are the rules going to be for your kids and family members when you're on the phone or meeting with a client? Are you going to set a timer so they know when you'll be available? Are you going to have set office hours and not meet with clients outside of those times? Are you going to have a play space in your office? This is especially important if you're going to have small kids playing nearby (quietly) while you work.

Tip # 5: Invest in professional-quality promotional products and marketing pieces.

Don't print off business cards from your printer, unless you have a top-of-the-line printer. Invest in professional-quality business cards and brochures. If you can, have some letterhead printed up, too, for contracts, letters to prospective clients and any correspondence that is business-related. If you're printing promotional products like T-shirts or apparel, coffee mugs, mousepads, etc., check the quality of the products put out by the printer you wish to use. Don't just "price-hunt," look around for the best quality and invest in your business.


5 Steps To Creating A 6-Figure While You Work At Home

Creating a steady income from home can be a daunting process. Being successful from home can often take more work than your regular 9 to 5. But, if you learn to break things down and follow a simple forumla, your home business can give you all the income and time freedom that you are seeking in a work from home business.

My successful business formula involves 5 steps. I follow these same five steps with every person I come into contact with. Having a system not only makes my days more organized, but also it opens up more time for me to enjoy the financial rewards that the system creates.

Here is my simple formula:

Step 1; Collect Leads:

This is an entire article in itself (which is in the works). For the sake of keeping this article on track, I will touch on this only briefly. There are many ways to get leads. You can buy leads, place ads in papers and on the net, use ad words, submit your site to search engines, mail postcards, etc. There are literally 100's of ways to advertise. The trick is finding a couple of advertising techniques that you like best and that fit your budget and then try them out. Those that bring you the most success can be tweaked further to give you the results you want. Just remember to always test each ad or lead generating technique you use. From my own experience, I like to talk to those that are in my business and find out what they are doing. They have most often been through the trial and error process and can save you some time.

Step 2; Call Leads:

This is the step that most people have reservations about. If you want to be successful in any home business, you must pick up the phone. This does not mean "cold" calling people. I never call anybody that has not asked to hear about my home business. Use your lead generating techniques in step one to create leads that want to hear from you and then contact them. Whether you business costs $5 or $5000 to join, people want to know that there is a real person behind the business that they can consult with questions. Talking to them and establishing a rapport and trust will go a long way to making sure that the prospect joins you in your home business. When still a "rookie" to making calls, it is best to have a script or outline to follow. This is not to say that you read directly from that. Just use it as a guide to keep you on track and in control of the call. Most importantly in regards to calls......LISTEN. Listen and take notes about what the prospect is telling you. Remember, you are trying to get to know this person and establish their trust.

Step 3; Email

It is hard to ignore this powerful tool. When collecting my leads, I always get an email and phone number to use in step 2 and 3 of my system. Just as I do not make cold calls, I do not send emails to those who have not asked for it. Spam complaints will kill your business and your rapport with people. When I get an email, I simply have that email address automatically entered into an autoresponder. My autoresponder then sends messages every few days to keep me fresh in my prospects mind. Autoresponders are a must have for any business. They allow you to stay in contact for long periods of time while doing virtually no work. They also increase the amount of times your prospect is exposed to you and your business. Remember this, on average a prospect must see your message 5 to 12 times before joining you.

Step 4; Direct Mail Information Packet.

With all of the new email laws and email blocking systems, direct mail is making a comeback. As I said in step 3, you want to expose yourself to your prospect as many times as possible. But, if you use one method of exposure....your prospect may begin to ignore you. Diversifying your exposure types will keep them interested. I must state that I do not mail information packets to everybody. Only those that I have talked with and that have expressed interest. Mailing the packets can become expensive if you mail them to everyone. That said, putting the pack together is very easy. I used the ad copy on my website to develop the packet. Then I throw in a business card or flyer and send it on its way. This also makes sure that people actually see the content of your site. Many have seen so many websites that they just browse them. They are more apt to sit down and read printed text than to sit at their computer and read through your website.

Step 5; Direct Mail Postcard.

Postcards, like direct mail, give you another way to expose yourself to your prospects. They are fun to design and can be sent quickly and easily. Because they are less expensive than the direct mail packets, I send a postcard to all of my leads. People love getting postcards. They do have the junk mail stigma and if designed well, they can give a personal touch to your business. I actually send a postcard campaign that sends multiple postcards over a period of 45 - 60 days to my prospects. I use a service that does this automatically and even personalizes each card for me.

Always remember this, it takes on average 5 to 12 exposures to get somebody into your business. My 5-step process actually includes multiple exposures within each step. For example, my emails include phone numbers to live calls and links to movies to watch. One email can get me three or more exposures. The key to any business is to have a formula or process to follow. Knowing what you are going to do each day keeps you focused and allows you to track how your business is doing and what may or may not be working.

That's it! Those 5 simple steps earn me a consistent 6-figure income from home. Your results may differ based on your business, and your compensation plan among other things, but this process will definitely increase your sign up rate.


3 Things You Can Do to Help Yourself Be Successful In Life

Do you define success as having a lot of money? Or do you define success as being able to live your life the way you want too? Either way, they are both good things to strive for. We all know not everyone can be successful as there are checks and balances for winners and losers.

I truly feel most people want to be in on the winning side. However, we always run into people that remain in the same place in life. Do you feel you are you one of those people? Obviously if you’re a person looking and trying to better your life you want to be on the winning side.

Being successful can mean many things. My definition of being successful is accomplishing what you intend to do. For example, I always intended to have a family and I now have a great family. I consider myself very successful.

Success does not mean to look better than the people around you. I believe it comes from within and how you perceive yourself and your life. Success is something that you do not have to show on a daily basis. Success is how you live your life.

Here are three tips on being successful:

Create a Vision of Yourself

Having a vision is the first and most critical step of any successful plan. Create a vision of what you intend to do. Write down how you want to see yourself 1 year from now. Think about how your life will look. Having a vision will help you focus on what you want to achieve.

Take up Good Habits and Break Unproductive Habits

Always read and learn about the world around you. Think an opportunity through and do not be impulsive when an opportunity presents itself.  Eat well and exercise. After all everything you do starts from within. Be in good health and don’t take your good health for granted. Add fitness to your life. Learn to handle distractions as there will plenty of distractions to address. Don’t use distractions as an excuse to fail.

Enjoy the Chase

Enjoy your road to success. The path will be filled with adversity. Keep your sense of humor because you may experience very tough challenges along the way. Be responsible, try and control your time by being as effective as possible.

Remember success is not free and it does take sacrifice. The price you pay is time and effort. Success is hard but rewarding (even during the chase for success). To be successful you have to work hard, educate yourself and maybe have a little luck on your side.



You Won't Believe These 11 Legitimate Work From Home Jobs That Have No Experience Requirements

  Welcome to my blog! I'm here to talk about legitimate work-from-home jobs that don't require any experience. There are plenty of o...